I’ve heard plenty of parents complain, “My toddler won’t nap!” What’s a parent to do in this situation?
I bet that when your toddler was an infant he did nap. All infants nap. So at some point the napping stopped. If your toddler was napping regularly until about the age of 3, then it’s possible they’ve grown out of their need for a nap. Often it’s the parents who want the kids to continue napping so they get some extra child-free time. If that is your situation, I suggest you replace “nap time” with “quiet time”. We did this in our house and it worked beautifully. Just allow your toddler to play quietly or perhaps watch a children’s DVD while sitting on the couch with his comfort objects (blanket, stuffed animals, etc). This will give your toddler a much needed rest. It’s the next best thing to a nap for the parent also.
For those of you saying, “My toddler won’t nap and he still needs a nap!”, let’s analyze this scenario. Most likely what has happened is your toddler has come to the conclusion that he’s missing out on something. So nap time now has a negative association. I highly recommend creating a new positive association to napping by discussing, with your toddler, what you’ll do after the nap is over. Always schedule something fun that you can have your toddler look forward to. This will re-build a positive association to the nap. Remember, behavior is driven by emotion. If your toddler has a new negative emotion regarding naps, he won’t want to nap. So it’s your job to make turn the nap into something positive. Giving your toddler something to look forward to after the nap is one way to accomplish this.
Enjoy your children,